The staging system of childhood craniopharyngioma helps determine the tumor’s location and metastasis. Staging can be vital in determining a craniopharyngioma patient’s survival rate once diagnosed with the disease condition. A TNM staging system is used to identify the different stages of childhood craniopharyngioma. Childhood craniopharyngioma is classified as stage 0 to stage IV as the doctors determine the best treatment plan suiting the child’s condition. But, there is no standard staging system available for childhood craniopharyngioma as the disease condition is rare and benign. Its chance of metastasis to other areas in the brain or faraway places in the body is comparatively very rare.
Staging of Childhood Craniopharyngioma
Staging is a way of describing a disease condition in terms of its gravity and location. If a person is diagnosed with a tumor, the doctor will use various diagnostic tests to determine the disease stage. Knowing the stages of craniopharyngioma will help the healthcare team to understand how advanced the disease condition is and what treatment plan can be employed to treat the condition. Staging can be vital in determining a craniopharyngioma patient’s survival rate once being diagnosed with the disease condition.
In the case of craniopharyngioma tumors or cancerous growth, doctors usually use a TNM staging system. In the TNM staging system, T stands for tumor, N stands for nodes, and M stands for metastasis.
T (Tumour): The staging system of craniopharyngioma will look for the size of the tumour, how big it is and its location of origin.
N (Node): In terms of node, it checks whether the tumour has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or not. If so, where and how many have been affected?
Metastasis (M): whether the craniopharyngioma cancerous growth has metastasized or spread to different parts of the body. If so, which all body parts have been affected and to what extend?
All these results are combined to determine a person’s cancer or tumor stage. Usually, a cancer condition has five stages: Stage 0 (zero), Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. This is a common way of describing almost all types of cancers or tumor growths. Based on these stages of craniopharyngioma from 0 to 4, doctors determine the best treatment plan suiting a person’s condition 1.
But for craniopharyngioma tumors, there is no standard staging system available. And this is because the disease condition is rare, benign and, it’s chance of metastasis to other areas in the brain or to faraway places in the body is comparatively very rare 2.
- 1.Cohen M, Guger S, Hamilton J. Long Term Sequelae of Pediatric Craniopharyngioma ? Literature Review and 20 Years of Experience. Front Endocrin. Published online 2011. doi:10.3389/fendo.2011.00081
- 2.Garnett MR, Puget S, Grill J, Sainte-Rose C. Craniopharyngioma. Orphanet J Rare Dis. Published online April 10, 2007. doi:10.1186/1750-1172-2-18